I would like to express my gratitude to the leadership of the Northern California Conference for your work in the furtherance of God’s kingdom. I count it a privilege to work with you, and I respect the authority that God has given you, realizing it is a sacred trust you have been given. I am a firm believer in supporting our local conference with our tithe, offering, and influence.
As you know, with leadership comes responsibility and accountability.
I would like to address a concern that is shared by many regarding the recent decision by the Pacific Union Conference executive committee to foster the ordination of women as pastors and what it might mean for our conference.
I support the calling of women to ministry. However, because we are a church who believes that Scripture is a safeguard, it is concerning when there is the absence of any biblical authority for ordaining women as pastors or elders and we choose to do it anyway. A principle consistently found in Scripture is God having designated the man to serve in the headship role and the woman to serve as a helpmate, or in a supportive role, while the two still being equal in the sight of God. This principle stems from Creation, as Adam was created first, and it continues through the Bible and through the writings of Ellen White.
A consistent pattern one finds is the absence of any female priests in the Old Testament; the absence of any female elders, pastors, or bishops in the New Testament; and the fact that in a questionnaire filled out by Ellen White six years before her death, she confirmed that she had never been ordained in the role of a pastor or elder. Jesus, our example, never ordained a female apostle as a church leader.
In addition to the pattern found in Scripture, the world church in two General Conference sessions has, by overwhelming majority, voted not to ordain women as pastors. From the pen of Ellen White, we are counseled in volume 9 of the Testimonies, that “never should a laborer regard as a virtue the persistent maintenance of his position of independence, contrary to the decision of the general body. … God has ordained that the representatives of His church from all parts of the earth, when assembled in a General Conference, shall have authority” (pgs. 260, 261).
The arguments in favor of ordaining women clergy seem to be based more on human ideas of equality, rather than scriptural mandate. The end result of such reasoning is clearly seen in other protestant churches who faced the same question and chose to move forward against Biblical counsel.
It is my prayer that the NCC will defer to biblical authority and the authority God has vested in the world church and not move forward with ordaining women as pastors.
– Mark Teh, Northern California Conference